A treasured South Florida institution for more than two decades, most of it on the edge of downtown Fort Lauderdale, Shuck N' Dive Cajun Café has long been successful enough to warrant a sequel. Yet there is peril in trying to replicate a classic. See “Caddyshack 2.”
But this weekend Shuck owner Danny Stasi and wife Meghan finally will let the New Orleans-style bons temps rouler in a beautiful new waterfront location in the Florida Keys at Shuck N' Dive Islamorada.
“After 22 years of never having a second restaurant, this room, this location, is spectacular,” says the character better known as Chef Staz. “I have the best outdoor seating of anywhere in all of the Keys.”
Located on the ocean at Mile Marker 83.5 at Whale Harbor Marina (83413 Overseas Highway), Shuck N' Dive Islamorada will make its formal debut with a three-day weekend celebration Thursday-Saturday, Oct. 1-3.
Highlights include an all-day Cajun shrimp boil on the beach on Saturday, with music from the Hobo Preservation Society. Rockin' Jake will provide a bluesy Southern soundtrack Thursday and Friday. Food and drinks specials will be served under a full moon (at its peak Thursday night).
Staz reassuringly confirms that the menu at SND2 will be the same, from the gumbo to the étouffée, the gator to the eye-watering Voodoo Burger, with Abita aplenty.
Shuck N' Dive Islamorada is the result of a partnership between Staz and Howard and Janeth Brody, owners of the marina property that includes Wahoo’s Bar and Grill, as well as the landmark Seafood Buffet.
The new space has been created out of the marina banquet room, most popular with out-of-town bridal parties, an uncertain business these days.
“These are challenging and interesting times to open,” Staz says, laughing. “There are a lot of descriptors to use when opening up a restaurant in a pandemic, off-season, in the Keys. We’re doing our grand opening Thursday, and of course the storms are coming Thursday, Friday, Saturday. But we’re getting it done. The key to everything, of course, is ‘weather permitting.’”
Shuck N' Dive Islamorada, 83413 Overseas Highway, is open 3-9 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, noon-9 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. For information, call 305-998-4344 or visit Facebook.com/ShuckNDive2.
Staff writer Ben Crandell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.